How's Your Dotcom Treating You? Part 2
by Alan and Smithee
Atom and Pop seem to want all rights. Mediatrip, aware of itself as an
Internet company, only requires other rights non-exclusively, which is nice.
And I do see that Atom has great connections with European sales, but the
proof is in the pudding (which only you have tasted.) Fundamentally, Pop
brings to the table the Industry Connection —Spielberg etc., or at least
the promise of being connected to insiders. Is this necessarily a good
thing? I don’t know, but it’s an interesting contrast to Atom’s
steamrolling-outsider model. Perhaps Atom will become a Big Boy, but perhaps
they are getting big without the industry muscle to back them up? It sounds
to me like Atom has treated you very well, getting you press and so on; but
why not any sales? I will agree with you that the Atom folk do seem to love
the place they work, which says a lot. The people at Pop say they are the
shit, but to be honest they sound shit confused, because this is a game they
don’t understand yet. But maybe they’re just holding their cards, or not
getting enough sleep.
I’m really not so convinced that giving Pop.com your short film will get you
into bed with Spielberg and his cronies. That’s just not how the world
works. Simply being associated with a company does not put you on THE
INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE’s list of hot new directors to push and support. That’s
just a seductive line to get you to sign — and it looks like it’s working.
Atom have just signed a deal with Propaganda (“Being John Malkovich“).
Several of the Atom execs were at New Line/Fine Line before, and are still
friendly. And I think being a big player in Internet/short films does make
studios, producers, etc. sit up and listen. I know Atom folks WOULD and
COULD get me a meeting with whomever.
If you went with a purely Internet company and kept your classical
distribution rights, what would you do with them? Which distribution company
is going to be interested in a film with no Internet rights available?